The Miami Hurricanes Football team proved their critics wrong. The Canes endured the toughest start of the college football season. After four straight games against Top 25 ranked teams, Canes came out with a 3 – 1 record.
2009 is probably the toughest season opener ever had by Miami or any other team in the NCAA. Hurricanes had to face 4 top ranked teams – Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma. Oklahoma being the highest ranked among the four.
Say it now: The ‘U’ is back
The Miami Hurricanes grew up in this four-game stretch, showing the talent, athleticism and composure to win three of four. They have been extremely impressive, considering nobody gave them much of a shot to be 3-1 — with one of those victories coming against Oklahoma. “No one gave us a chance,” said freshman Ray Ray Armstrong, the Seminole High standout who had his coming out party against the Sooners. “Everybody said we were going to go 0-4. The team was all we had.”
After two great performances which brought them back into the Top 25, the once mighty Canes stumbled badly against Virginia Tech last week. The loss raised a lot of doubts on whether the U is really back this season. Miami thus, answered all their critics with a splendid performance against 8th ranked Oklahoma.
The Canes, in their Orange Hurricanes Football Jersey, did not start the match well. It seemed, at first, as if they were going to continue their bad form from last week. Offensively, they could not move the ball. Defensively, the Sooners was dominating them and causing costly turnovers early in the game.
Saturday surely didn’t start the way Miami wanted.
Harris threw interceptions on Miami’s first two drives, the first so easy for Oklahoma’s Dominique Franks to grab that it wasn’t even clear who was the intended receiver. Oklahoma turned that one into a 16-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Cameron Kenney, and stretched the lead to 10-0 in the second quarter on Jimmy Stevens’ 21-yard field goal.
After a similarly bad performances in the first two initial drives and going down by 10 points, Miami pulled their act together. The Hurricanes scored a touchdown just before half time to bring the two teams closer at 10 – 7.
Something rather incredible happened.
The Miami defense began to dominate the high-powered Sooners, and if you want the highlight-reel stuff, start with two hits by freshman safety Ray Ray Armstrong that drew “OOOOH!” from the crowd — live and again on replay.
As for Harris, two quick picks might cause most young quarterbacks to rattle, especially one who had a tough time in that Blacksburg, Va., downpour a week earlier. But here was Harris’ response: an 18-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham, 18-yard scoring strike to Dedrick Epps, then a 38-yard beauty into the end zone to Travis Benjamin. This against the nation’s top-ranked scoring defense.
Miami came out from the break with new vigor. They played with more intensity and purpose. Forcing a fumble which they recovered, the Canes went on to take a 14 – 10 lead from that turnover. They went further ahead to 21 – 10 when Jacorry Harris connected with Travis Benjamin to make it 21 – 10.
Is the U really back? The question that will be on the lips of almost every football pundits. A truly valid question. The season has surely been topsy turvy with ranked teams finding things harder than they thought.
The Miami Hurricanes Football Team, however, can now take a breather. They have gone through the hardest patch of their season and came out with flying colors. Up next for them is Florida A&M.